RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksAs a novel about a white hero of the Civil War era by a white author, Lincoln in the Bardo enters this fractious scene with Saunders’s characteristic humor and expansive sensibility. In this respect, it feels more like the last presidential fiction of the Obama era than the first of the Trump administration … [Saunders’s] short fiction has long been guided by a sense of economic justice, but here we also find (especially in the later pages) fully developed Black and queer characters in determining roles. The writing in these later pages, which observes the transformation of Lincoln’s melancholia to political resolution via the spirits, is downright gorgeous, rewarding those who might find the citational disjunctiveness of the novel exhausting.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksMaking the railroad literal in fiction is a daring act of speculative world-building ... The Underground Railroad differs from [it's] predecessors in the grandness of its design and in the subtlety with which it conceals the problem of historical memory in an otherwise action-packed narrative ... With deadpan virtuosity and muted audacity, Whitehead integrates the historical details of slavery with the present.